Identifying Medication Errors in a Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital: A Prospective Observational Study
Background: Medication error is defined as any avertable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient and consumer. Medication errors may occur at any stage of the medication use process including ordering, transcription, dispensing, administering and monitoring.
Objective: The objective of the study is to assess the medication errors in a tertiary care hospital and to categorize them based on their nature and type.
Methodology: A prospective observational study was conducted over a period of 3 months in a tertiary care teaching hospital. This study was carried out among 240 inpatients, admitted in General Medicine department of the hospital, who were selected randomly. During the study, inpatients case records were reviewed, which includes patient’s case history, diagnosis, medication order sheets, progress chart, laboratory investigations. The data collected were analyzed for identifying medication errors such as prescribing errors and administration errors. Each reported medication error was assessed using the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCCMERP) proposed index for categorizing medication errors.
Results: A total number of 240 inpatients were enrolled in the study, out of which 82 patients have developed medication errors. The overall percentage of observed medication error was 34.16%. In our study medication errors were found more in males (70.7%) than in the females (29.3%). Prescribing errors (62.19%) were the most frequently occurring type of error, which was followed by administration errors (37.8%). In our study, we found that medication errors were more with antibiotics (37) followed by NSAIDs (19). 96 prescriptions were found having drug interactions. Conclusion: This study concludes that the overall incidence of medication error was found to be 34.16%. Most of the medication errors are clinically significant and it can prevent by working together in a health care team.
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